As we mentioned a few weeks ago, British Airways is leasing A330 aircraft from Qatar Airways in order to cover for its Boeing 787-9 fleet which requires substantial engine repairs.
We now know which routes are being flown by Qatar Airways. This a wet lease, with Qatar Airways providing both the crew and the aircraft:
BA 157/156 – Heathrow to Kuwait (and return) – 9th June to 1st July
BA 79/80 – Heathrow to Muscat (and return) – 9th June to 21st August
BA 143/142 – Heathrow to Delhi (and return) – 9th June to 21st August
Operationally, this is a bit of a mess as these are two class aircraft:
First Class passengers will be downgraded to Business Class
Some Business Class passengers will be downgraded to Economy
World Traveller Plus passengers will be downgraded to Economy
If you are travelling on any of these services, you have the right to a refund or a rebooking on another BA flight. This even applies if you are still travelling in the same cabin as your flight now has a different operator.
Seat selection on these flights appears to be free looking at the document sent around yesterday. If you have paid for seating, you may be allowed a refund. You are also unable to pre-order meals, or pay for the superior meals if you are in Economy. No Kosher food will be provided – you will get a fruit plate instead. All meals will be halal.
Compensation payments are substantial:
First Class passengers who are downgraded will also receive, on top of the difference in fare or Avios, a £700 BA voucher or 140,000 Avios PER SECTOR. That is a ludicrous 280,000 Avios return.
Club World passengers who are downgraded will also receive, on top of the difference in fare or Avios, a £400 BA voucher or 80,000 Avios PER SECTOR.
World Traveller Plus passengers who are downgraded will get NOTHING on top of the fare difference unless they have BA status. Such passengers will receive 20,000 Avios PER SECTOR.
You will retain the lounge access you would have had before the downgrade, and will earn the Avios and tier points of the original ticket.
It is not clear how this compensation will work alongside any EC261 compensation. You should be due 75% of the one-way cost of your ticket, including taxes. However, looking at cases on Flyertalk it seems that BA likes to argue that, where a class of service is removed completely, this is a cancellation and not a downgrade. You may therefore end up better off if you are downgraded from Business to Economy – since EU261 is clearly due here – than if you were swapped from First to Business or from World Traveller Plus to Economy.
Full details are on ba.com here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)